by Kevin McCaffery
(Ottawa, Ontario - Canada) Presenting a calm exterior is the key to success in this eight-step approach to de-escalating a threatening situation. The importance of a measured response to threats or violence in the workplace has never been higher, both in terms of potential liability for an employer who doesn’t take the appropriate steps to safeguard staff and, of course, for the person actually at risk. Articles on workplace violence have historically focused on managerial strategies—how the organization should prevent, prepare for, and respond to incidents. While an organizational plan is critical, it doesn’t provide much solace for the person faced with defusing a threatening situation. Front-line employees need information on how to manage events as they unfold. That is the intent of this article, to provide the people in the middle of it all some tips on how they can manage these difficult situations and, by extension, minimize the potential for harm or for a recurrence.